Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Perseveration and Spongebob

For a long time, I have heard fellow autism mommies speak of perseveration. I had experienced this in the ways of rigid adherence to routines and repetitive stimming and actions.

As JT has gotten older, a new type has popped up...

Their kids were (are) obsessed with specific things: Mario games, Star Wars, tv shows, characters, etc., to the point that it was driving them nuts.

Ours? SpongeBob.

I've renamed JT's blog to reflect this interest.

SpongeBob is all we do. It's on the television several times a day (thank you God that there are a huge number of Spongebob episodes that Nickelodeon plays several times a day, and our DVR rotates them, if I had to watch the same episodes again and again I'd be more crazy than I am). He plays Spongebob games on my computer (I'm impressed he can now play 'big kid' games - using different keys to jump and move right and left simultaneously!). He is constantly scripting Spongebob (this is an entirely new post altogether, that perhaps I will put together later today). We hear Spongebob episodes even when Spongebob isn't on. He does use them appropriately most of the time (go JT, moving up in the speech department).

It even goes past 'obsession'.

And with perseverations, there's no way to cut it off... you have to manage it, but it's impossible to get rid of.

Plus, it's helped his speech. It's increased his hand-eye coordination. He's playing games at a higher level. He has something in common with his peers, it's age-appropriate.

Welcome to the higher-functioning levels of perseveration, I guess?

And now I truly understand what people are talking about. Is it odd that I never thought we'd get far enough that this would be an issue? This is a kid that didn't care about anything, and didn't talk. It's a blessing that this is an issue, in a strange way.

Please, Nickelodeon, do not stop playing Spongebob. And thank you for your online games.

I have a feeling this is going to come in handy as a reward in the future ;)

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